Who uses it: Observant Jews
What it means: Happy New Year; literally, "good year"
How you can use it: To wish your friends a happy new year on Rosh Hashanah.
Catholicism has the 40 days of Lent, which serve a similar purpose, but I wish that we celebrated these Days of Awe, too. It makes sense to me that the year would begin in fall, instead of at the dead of winter, and everybody should start their year with ten days of introspection and atonement.
Anna and I met for lunch yesterday at the A-1, and she gave me a present from the Charleston Market: a handmade figurine of St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes and desperate situations. Anna said she thought I could use it.
I'm glad to have it, but none of my own causes feels particularly lost at the moment. It would be tempting fate to say that I have everything I want -- but anything I want that I don't have just feels frivolous. As we used to say in Washington, pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered.